Last updated on: 1/31/2013 | Author: ProCon.org

Rob Neils, PhD Biography

Title:
Founder and President of the Dying Well Network
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“To live full, meaningful lives we must embrace our mortality. We must learn to control our dying that we can die well…

Man is born with death in his hand. We all will die. We may be able to postpone death but we cannot avoid it. We all die of something, somewhere, somehow. Although we cannot avoid death, we can control the death caused by a terminal illness. We can determine how, when, where, and with whom we die…

Acceptance of death increases the quality of life a terminally ill person has remaining. A terminally ill person lives better knowing that he or she may exercise control over the physical pain, the psychological agony and the financial devastation of dying.”

“Death with Dignity FAQs,” www.togopeacefully.com, Feb. 8, 2007

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and President, Dying Well Network
  • Professional Clinical Psychologist specializing in grief, death, dying and catastrophic events, North Pines Counseling
  • Former Chief Psychologist, Eastern State Hospital
  • Former Psychology Intern, Oncology Unit, Fresno Community Hospital
  • Conducted the world’s first group psychotherapy for terminally ill persons
    Wrote the first psychological treatment plan targeting “dying well, and hopefully earlier” as the desired outcome of therapy
  • Conducted workshops throughout Montana and other western states for more than 70,000 persons on “How People Grieve”
  • Gave a Declaration in Gary Lee, et al. v. Douglas, et al., the injunction against Oregon’s Measure 16
  • Was an original plaintiff in Compassion In Dying et al. v. Washington State until the time the suit was filed
  • Invented the Autoanoxygenic Debreather and the Expirator, both of which use nitrogen to hasten death without the need of medical prescription(s)
  • Former Consultant, Hospice of Spokane
  • Former Treasurer and Board of Directors member, Washington Citizens for Death With Dignity
  • Former Member, Advisory Committee, “Working Group on Assisted Suicide and End-of-Life Decisions,” American Psycohological Association
  • Former Member (10 years), Board of Directors, Spokane Memorial Society
Education:
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology
  • Attended the Lutheran School of Theology for 3½ years studying systematic theology and pastoral care, focusing on death and dying
Other:
  • None found